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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Recipe Wednesday! Attack of the Endless Zucchini has begun!

That's right, it's BAAAACKKKK! Here are two recipes that use up a LOT, one for Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, and another for Easy-Cheesy Lasagna! So, you've probably seen recipes for No-Noodle Lasagna. Just replace the noodles with thinly sliced zucchini or yellow squash, add lasagna layers and VOILA! The PROBLEM is, the squash becomes watery when cooked, and you end up with lasagna SOUP instead! MY solution? Layer the squash, with lasagna noodles on top of it. The extra water content cooks the noodles! Am I brilliant or what? Wait, don't answer
that - I forgot to post my recipes last week!



1 lb. cooked mild italian sausage (unless you like it spicy!)
2 small zucchini or yellow squash, thinly sliced into rounds (peel it first if you'd like)
2 jars spaghetti sauce, your favorite
1 package UNCOOKED lasagna noodles
2 c. shredded mozzerella, or 1 pkg. sliced mozzerella
1 24 oz. container cottage cheese (or ricotta)
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. italian seasoning


Mix together the last three ingredients in a small bowl to form the "cream" layer - the cottage cheese, eggs and italian seasoning.
Coat a REALLY REALLY big lasagna pan with cooking spray. Mine is
huge, but you can also use 2 pans and bake one/freeze one!
Layer the ingredients like this:

uncooked noodles

I layer them three times, making sure each layer covers the pan evenly. Bake for 1 1/2 - 2 hours at 400 F, or if using 2 pans, 1 hour. It should be thick and bubbly when finished! Serve hot, and leftovers are even better! Freeze some slices for lunches!


This cake is MOIST and FUDGY and it uses THREE CUPS of zucchini! I frost it with cream cheese frosting, and cut it right in the pan - YUMMO!



2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
3 cups grated zucchini
3/4 cup chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add the eggs and oil, mix well. Fold in the nuts and zucchini until they are evenly distributed. Pour into the prepared pan.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool cake completely before frosting with your favorite frosting. Chocolate or cream cheese are both delicious!

“He probably gave away 55 zucchini last year. The garden was huge. It was higher than him. Even if he was standing up in it, you had to look to find him. We're going to miss it.”
~Lucille Mancke

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Recipe Wednesday! Wild Strawberry Fruit Leather and Fool! (the dessert, not the insult)

These bright little GEMS are just starting to ripen in our area. We LOVE eating them fresh, if we can beat our free-ranging poultry to them first!

An old-time way to preserve wild strawberries is by making STRAWBERRY LEATHER. This method was used in Europe and by the Indians. The colonists soon were preserving berries this way, too. The berries were dried into thin cakes the size of pancakes. Then they were eaten that way or made into sauces, pies, and puddings.
Wild strawberries have been used for many purposes over the years - strawberry wines, strawberries and cream, strawberry jams and jellies, strawberry shortcake, etc. Strawberries are high in vitamin C. The leaves, nutritious, too, have been used for strawberry tea, a drink rich in this vitamin.
Strawberry juice was used in years past as a wash for the complexion. The roots and leaves have been utilized as an astringent.
Wild strawberries are very fragile berries. They get mushy very quickly. So these berries should be handled carefully when picked and transported. They also should be used, either eaten or preserved as soon as possible.



2 pounds hulled strawberries
1 cup sugar


In a pan, simmer 2 pounds hulled strawberries with 1 cup sugar over low heat. Stir and mash fruit as it cooks and gets as thick as possible.

Then spread the mixture on a flat dish and place in the sun, a food dryer, or low 200 degree oven. When dried, sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut into squares. Store in covered container to keep out moisture.

(-adapted from



1/2 lb wild strawberries
1 tsp sugar
1/2 pint whipping cream
A few berries and a little grated chocolate for garnish


Wash the strawberries, de-husk them and slice them to about 1/8". Add them to a pot with the tsp. of sugar and gently bring up to heat. (No water is required, as the natural juices of the strawberries will be sufficient.)
The strawberries should be stirred regularly with a wooden spoon as they begin to break down, and after around five minutes, should have pureed sufficiently. Note that some solid pieces remaining add a little bit of bite and character to the finished dish. Set the puree, covered, aside to cool. This will take at least half an hour.
When the strawberry puree has cooled, the cream should be poured in to a large bowl and whisked until soft peaks begin to form. At this stage, the strawberry puree mixture should be folded in to the cream, not stirred in, or a lot of the trapped air will be lost from the cream. This will spoil the final effect of the dish.
The strawberry cream should then carefully be spooned into four serving glasses. A little chocolate should be grated over each, then top each serving with a fresh strawberry. Serve immediately or refrigerate until required.

“Doubtless God could have made a better berry (than the strawberry), but doubtless God never did.”
~William Allen Butler

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Recipe Wednesday! Fresh crop of Rhubarb recipes!

One of my favorites in the garden is RHUBARB ~ it makes delicious desserts!
Remember to remove the leaves before cooking, they are POISONOUS if eaten!
Ever notice how the things that are good for you in nature are very close to
being poisonous? Tomatoes, for example, are in the "deadly nightshade" family! Sometimes a little bad is good for you!



2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk

5 cups sliced fresh or frozen rhubarb
1 (3 ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin

2 cups white sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 10x15 inch jellyroll pan.
In a large bowl, stir together 2 cups of flour and baking powder. Cut in 1/2 cup of butter by pinching between your fingers or using a fork or pastry cutter until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in the egg and milk just until the mixture is moistened. Pat into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread rhubarb over the crust in an even layer, then sprinkle the dry gelatin powder over the rhubarb.
Prepare the topping by stirring together 2 cups white sugar and 1 cup flour. Cut in 1/2 cup of butter as you did for the crust. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the rhubarb.
Bake in the preheated oven until the topping is golden brown and the rhubarb is tender enough to easily pierce with a fork, about 45 minutes. Cool and then cut into bars to serve.



1 (9 inch) unbaked pie shell
3 cups chopped fresh rhubarb
1/2 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
In a medium bowl, toss the rhubarb with 1/2 cup of sugar and the flour. Pour into the pie shell. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove, and allow to cool. Lower the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a medium bowl, stir together the cream cheese and 1/2 cup of sugar until smooth. Stir in the eggs one at a time until each is blended. Pour this mixture over the rhubarb in the crust.
Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until set. Remove from the oven, and set aside. In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and vanilla. Spread over the top of the pie while it is hot. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled before serving.

“Well, art is art, isn't it? Still, on the other hand, water is water! And east is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does. Now, uh... Now you tell me what you know.”

~Groucho Marx

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Recipe...Thursday! Perfect Picnic Fare - Scotch eggs!

As you can imagine, we're just a TAD bit busy on the farm here lately! New batches of chicks have been hatching out, and we've added TURKEYS and GEESE to our flocks!
So, without further delay, our RECIPE THIS WEEK!

Perfect portable take-alongs for picnics, tailgate parties and potlucks - another way to use your hard-boiled eggs! As an alternative, you can bake these instead of frying them to cut down on the fat, but the frying makes them easier to tote along if you're on the go. Try them also sliced cold over salads - delish!



1 pound pork sausage meat
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
4 hard-cooked eggs, peeled
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup dry bread crumbs
1 quart oil for deep frying


In a medium bowl, mix together the pork sausage and Worcestershire sauce. Combine the flour, salt and pepper; mix into the sausage.
Divide the sausage into four equal parts. Mold each part around one of the hard-cooked eggs*, rolling between your hands to shape. Place the beaten egg and bread crumbs into separate dishes. Dip the balls into the egg, then roll in the bread crumbs until coated. Shake off any excess.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan or deep fryer to 365 degrees F (180 degrees C), or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil turns brown in 1 minute. Lower the eggs carefully into the hot oil. Fry for 5 minutes, or until deep golden brown.

Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, cool, and peel.


SCOTCH EGGS TOO! (less ingredients)


6 eggs
1 pound pork sausage, formed into 6 patties
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
1 quart vegetable oil for frying


Place eggs in saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil. Cover, remove from heat, and let eggs sit in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water and cool; peel.
In a large deep skillet heat about 1 inch of vegetable oil until hot.
Place whole boiled eggs on top of sausage patty. Roll to form ball around the egg. Dip in beaten egg wash, then seasoned breadcrumbs. Deep fry in hot vegetable oil until meat is fully cooked. Drain and serve hot.


"As sure as eggs is eggs" - Scottish expression, meaning "absolutely certain"

"Curses are like young chickens, they always come home to roost."
~from "The Curse of Kehama - 1810" by Robert Southey